Dawn Bell, Pharm.D., a 1992 graduate of the University of Florida College of Pharmacy and the vice president and global development head of strategic partnerships at Novartis, was presented the college’s Outstanding Alumnus Award on May 14. The award recognizes an alumnus who has made significant contributions to the pharmacy profession.
During her career, Bell has served as a biopharmaceutical executive, board director, general manager and start-up CEO at some of the world’s top pharmaceutical companies. She is a drug development and commercialization expert, having developed and launched more than 12 innovative medicines across eight therapeutic areas. As the vice president of clinical development and medical affairs and an Executive Committee member for Novartis Pharmacy Canada, she led a $600 million business and was responsible for new product planning, clinical development and medical affairs across a 100-person organization. While serving as vice president and senior global head of Entresto at Novartis, she led the global team overseeing Phase III development, regulatory approval, reimbursement and the launch in the U.S., Canada and European Union of the heart failure drug.
Prior to Novartis, Bell was chief executive officer and co-founder of Cool-Bio, a private, pre-clinical stage biotech company. She also served as general manager of Canyon Pharmaceuticals, a private, clinical-stage rare-disease company. Earlier in her career, Bell had leadership roles in medical affairs and clinical development at The Medicines Company, where she was part of the early company growth from $400M to more than $1 billion.
Bell received the Outstanding Alumnus Award at the UF College of Pharmacy’s commencement ceremony, where she delivered the commencement address. She told the class of 2022 that joy, courage and faith are the compasses that direct her journey every day, and she encouraged them to find a place in life where their deep gladness fits the greatest need.
“You have the tools to craft the most amazing map of life your imagination can come up with — the most amazing career you can desire,” Bell said. “You are graduating today from one of the best colleges of pharmacy in the country, if not in the world, and your degree will take you wherever your life is telling you where to go.”